The editorial board of the Las Vegas Review-Journal published a front-page editorial on Sunday promising to maintain independence and transparency after being purchased by conservative casino mogul Sheldon Adelson in a secretive $140 million sale.
“We will fight for your trust. Every. Single. Day. Even if our former owners and current operators don’t want us to,” the board wrote.
The editors acknowledged that the purchase of Nevada’s highest circulation paper by one of the Republican Party’s largest donors presented an “ethical challenge,” but vowed to disclose and investigate all possible conflicts of interest. The Review-Journal was the first to definitively reveal that the Adelson family was behind the Dec. 10 purchase of the newspaper, which remained shrouded in secrecy for days.
The paper also published an exposé on Friday revealing that some of its top reporters received an “unprecedented” request while the Adelson family was in the process of purchasing the newspaper. Three reporters were asked to temporarily drop their assignments and devote all of their resources to monitoring the activity of three Nevada judges, one of whom was overseeing a case involving Adelson’s casino properties in Macau, off the coast of China.
According to the newspaper, the request was passed down by corporate management against the objections of senior newspaper staffers. None of the reporting completed by the trio was ever published, and the reason for the assignment was never explained.
The editorial board promised in a separate Sunday editorial to devote the same level of scrutiny to the editorial page, which they warned could turn into the Adelson family’s “personal soap box.” They released a list of issues on which the casino mogul could significantly change the newspaper’s focus.
Because the Review-Journal already tilts center-right, the editors don’t expect a notable change in coverage of the 2016 presidential race. But they say they could see a “complete reversal” on some issues that the board has previously championed, such as decriminalizing marijuana, supporting Internet gaming, and advocating against a nationalized healthcare system.
The full front-page editorial can be seen below.